02/18/2006 10:42 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reading the Pictures: Parting Shots


In light of the volumes of speculation about the Cheney shooting (drinking, not drinking? left side or right? ambulance or helicopter? "just fine" or unconscious?) there was something particularly captivating about this end-of-the-week image on yesterday's newswire.

According to the caption:

This 2004 U.S. Department of Agriculture aerial photo shows a portion of the Armstrong Ranch in Texas, where Vice President Cheney accidentally shot 78-year-old lawyer Harry Whittington while hunting Saturday, Feb. 13, 2006. The yellow spot, [lower] right, was extrapolated by University of Texas scientist Gordon Wells using longitude and latitude data from the Kennedy County Sheriff's Department report on the accidental shooting.

What makes the image so noteworthy? The trick is, you have to read it politically, not geographically. It's saying, this is about as close as anybody is going to get to what really happened in Texas last weekend.

For more of the visual, visit

(image: USDA via The American-Statesman/AP. February 17, 2006. Texas.)